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Oak Park native wins College Television Award | Articles | News |

Like the rest of the world, Richard Bailey, 25, is in a holding pattern. The Oak Park native is living in Los Angeles, where historic wildfires have the residents on high alert. 

“I can still smell the ash and the fog in the air,” Bailey said during a phone interview last week. 

As authorities work to get a handle on the wildfires, the Oak Park native and aspiring producer, who last year obtained his MFA from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, is waiting for the film industry to open back up after being shut down for several months because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

But beyond the smoke, Bailey also senses opportunity. In February, Wednesday Journal reported that Bailey had been nominated alongside some of his AFI classmates, for a prestigious College Television Award — a competition that judges film entries from undergraduate and graduate students across the country. In May, the group won Best Comedy Series for their film “They Won’t Last.” 

The win put Bailey in the company of other industry professionals who have gone on to work on shows like “The Simpsons,” “America’s Got Talent,” “60 Minutes” and “Empire.”

The Television Academy, which administers the awards and is one of the three organizations responsible for the Emmys, had originally scheduled the 40th awards ceremony to take place in March, but the pandemic altered those plans. Bailey said that the Academy instead hosted the ceremony virtually on May 30. 

“It was broadcast via YouTube on the academy’s channel and Portlynn Tagavi, the film’s director, was the recipient for us and she was broadcast accepting the award on air at the time,” Bailey said. Actress Tichina Arnold introduced the nominees. 

Bailey, who was a producer on the student film, said

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